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After Words

In the reading-machine future
Say by 1950
All magnum opuses
Will be etched on the
Heads of pins
Not retched into
Three volume classics
By pin heads
—Bob Brown

In January 1931, Bob Brown worked with Nancy Cunard's Hours Press to publish Words —two sets of poems printed in a single volume. The book was subtitled I but bend my finger in a beckon and words, birds of words, hop on it, chirping . One set of poems was printed in 16-point Caslon Old Face, a classic font style used in allHours Press publications. The other was relief-printed from engraved plates at less than 3-point size (perhaps, according to Cunard, less than 1-point).Because the subtitle was also printed in the microscopic text, archives, libraries, and bibliographies often mistakenly omit it.

Although Brown was, for Cunard, "at the very center of his time, a zeitgeist in himself," they printed only 150 copies, and the book passed into relativeobscurity. It is generally mentioned only as a footnote in discussions of Cunard's life or in reference to Readies for Bob Brown's Machine , Brown’s better-known anthology of experimental texts by modernist writers, including Cunard herself (Cunard, Hours , 177 and 181).

One can place Words at the intersection of three lineages. Nancy Cunard wanted to produce elegant modernist works in the fine-press artists' booktradition that Hours Press helped initiate: "to achieve impeccably clean things with fingers grease-laden" ( Hours , 9). Brown wanted to demonstrate how microscopic texts for his reading machine mightappear if printed next to poems set in 16-point type. A reading of the book from the perspective of an avant-garde audience places it in the tradition of art-stunts. (In this regard, Brown's friends, George Antheil and Marcel Duchamp, influenced his interest in art-stunts involving machines and mechanisms.) As aperformance of reading strategies, Words , with its magnifying glasses and hidden clues, alludes to detective stories or tothe paranoid's micrographia and art brut .

Only a handful of scholars have had the opportunity to read Words , which this new edition makes widely available, and even fewer have discussed it outside of apassing mention or footnote (for exceptions, see Dworkin, 2003, or Ford, 1988). The current moment seems ripe for a rediscovery of this work precisely becauseof contemporary interests in book arts, reading technologies, conceptual art projects, and interdisciplinary modernist studies.

Nancy Cunard, famous for her iconic glamorous fashion with African bangles and bobbed hair-style, was part of a thriving groupof small-press publishers in the 1920s, including Contact Editions, Beaumont Press, Ovid Press, Nonesuch Press, Fanfrolico, Seizin, Sylvia Beach'sShakespeare&Company, Black Sun Press, Black Manikin Press, and Bob Brown's own Roving Eye Press. She announced Words in a December 1929 edition of transition , the English-language modernist art and literary journal published in Paris. Shestarted talking about the possibility of the project after Brown had sent her a copy of his " beautifully produced" 1450- 1950 . The title refers to the evolution of printing, and its meaning was immediately clear to Cunard, a printer; but the poet William Carlos Williamswrote to Brown wondering what the "numerals meant” ( Hours , 177; Williams, n.p.).

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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s. Reply
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Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
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That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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s. Reply
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s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
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Sanket Reply
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Damian Reply
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abeetha Reply
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Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
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silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
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Source:  OpenStax, Words. OpenStax CNX. Feb 01, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11168/1.2
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